Europe 2012: Day 93, St. Goar and Bacharach


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The ruins of the St. Goar’s Rheinfelds Castle .          

Friday, 9/07/12

Wake at 6:30am.   There is a crane outside our hotel!  You know – the whining, clanking heavy equipment used to hoist steel beams into skyscrapers!  Yes, there is one of those right out in the alley beneath our window!!!   I am not sure why it is there but I don’t like it!   My DH breaks out the Kindle and puts on his ear-buds to listen to Mozart.   I decide to work on my blog.

Eventually the crane leaves but nothing looks new or fixed.   In any case, we head down to have breakfast in the hotel breakfast room at 8am.

The breakfast was good!   Besides the standard stuff of breads, pastries, cereals, and juice/coffee, they also have freshly scrambled eggs and hot crispy bacon!  We got a lovely table by the window and watch the tourist come and go in the square below.   Too bad we can’t stay to enjoy it longer.   By 8:30am, we are off to the train station.  We have an 8:54am train to catch.

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The train station at Cochem, Germany.

When we get to the ticket window of the train station, the ticketing agent tells us that the 8:54am is “kaput!” — it has been cancelled for some unknown reason.   We are forced to take the next train at 9:36am.    My DH pulls out the train and boat schedules.   After considering our options, we decide to rearrange our day – St. Goar and its castle will be first on our agenda.  The boat ride down the Rhine to Bacharach will be second.

The 1-1/2 hour train ride to Koblenz is full thanks to a bunch of teenagers on a field trip.  The girls sitting across from us play cards to pass the time – I didn’t know that teenagers play card games any more, I expected something more high-tech.

We make our connection in Koblenz without a problem.   The 40 minute train ride to St. Gore is less crowded and it arrives in St. Goar on time.   The weather is gorgeous!   We walk into the small town of St. Gore  and buy tickets for a small train to take us up the hill to the castle.    We have some time before the train leaves so we walk down main street.  Here are some pictures:

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The main street of St. Goar was a easy walk from the train station.

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We had time before our tour of the castle, so we stopped into a local bakery.

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We couldn’t resist! Chocolate cake with a fluffy white filling and dark chocolate glaze — a German version of the Hostess Cupcake!

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A house in downtown St. Goar.

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The Little Train That Could — take us to the castle, that is!

The train ride up the steep hill to the Rienburg Castle only takes a few minutes.   We pay our entry fee into the castle.   We use a Rick Steves walking tour through castle.   Here are some pictures:

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Walking the ruins of the St. Goar’s Rheinfels Castle…

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…once the biggest castle on the Rhine (built in 1245). It withstood a siege of 28,000 French troops in 1692. But in 1797, the French Revolutionary army destroyed it.

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Oh look, a pathway leading somewhere…

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… a path around the castle…

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…leads to a lovely view of the valley!

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Back within the ruins, I find my way to the castle tower to look at the Rhine River…

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…my DH waits for me, he wants another pastry.

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How do you say “I want a slice of the Strawberry thing” in German?

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Before leaving St. Gore, we tour the local museum at Burg Rheinfels .  It has a number of wonderful exhibits of miniature castles, towns, and historic battles. We felt like giants!

The tour of the castle was very interesting!    There is something un-worldly walking through all these ruins.   We went away with a good feeling of what it must have been like to live in such a place.  We spent about 1-1/2 hours at the castle, longer than we expected.   We decide to buy some sandwiches and we catch the boat for our ride down the Rhine River to Bacharach.  Here are some pictures:

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The river is wide here too.

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There are small towns the dot the banks of the river. These are the same small towns we passed on our way to Cochem.

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A small church in the middle of the river.

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From our boat, we can see castles!

An hour and a half later, we arrive in the small scenic town of Bacharach.  Here are some pictures:

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A street in Bacharach. Notice the pretty shop sign with the goat!

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More timber-frame tutor-like homes.

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Lovely gardens!

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Lovely vineyards!

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Lovely squares!

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What a surprise — another church!  This one happens to be St. Peter’s Catholic Church.

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The red stone is common in the region.

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An espresso in the shade of Gothic ruin.  How could I resist?

Around 5pm, we take the train back to Cochem.   An hour and a half later, we are in the hotel’s restaurant eating salad and surfing the web.   I have to download my pictures from the last few days so we call it an early night.   My DH watches the BBC news, and I write this entry.    Tomorrow, we plan to see another castle – after a leisurely breakfast, that is.

Quote of the day:   “What, they don’t have a replacement?”  — DH regarding the 8:45am train that is “kaput”.

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